The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 13
The end of the year is when video game journalists typically
fawn over their favorite games of the past twelve months. Nuts to that. Here
are five series I don't want to see hide nor hair of in 2012.
Dead RisingI'm an unapologetic
supporter of zombies in video games, and believe there's still a lot of interesting
ground to explore with regards to our shambling undead foes. So zombie
fatigue is not the reason I want 2012 to be Dead Rising-free. The truth is I
just can't get into the series.
Dead Rising has everything I normally like in a zombie game:
an open-world design, hundreds of onscreen enemies, and NPC companions that can
actually be infected and killed. I even think the time mechanic – where the
game is constantly moving forward whether you want it to or not – is pretty
cool. These are the reasons I happily bought the first two Dead Rising games,
but that hasn't stopped both titles from collecting dust on my shelf after only
a few hours of play.
I don't know what it is about Dead Rising's formula that
doesn't click with me. Maybe it's the wacky sense of humor, which saps the game
of any genuine horror (I'm sorry, but a zombie Armageddon isn't supposed to be
funny). Maybe it's the focus on melee combat, which isn't as gritty or nuanced
as Dead Island, making every zombie encounter feel repetitive. Whatever the
problem is, Dead Rising 2 didn't fix it, and I'm guessing another sequel won't
Capcom's release record for Dead Rising also isn't
reassuring. The company followed up the release of Dead Rising 2 with Case West
("Hey look, we added Frank West!"), and then Dead Rising 2: Off The Record
("Hey look, we added Frank West...again!"). If there's still innovation to be
made in zombie games I don't expect it to come from Dead Rising, and I won't
miss the series if it takes a break in 2012.
Gears of WarThere's no denying the popularity of the Gears of War
formula, and I'm sure if Epic rolled out another sequel tomorrow it would sell
like gangbusters. The reason I don't want to see another Gears of War, however,
is I'm more interested in the alternative. Epic has squeezed more out of the
Xbox 360 than virtually any other developer in the industry, proving just how
talented the studio really is. I want to see that ability exerted on something
other than alien killing and dudebro dialogue.
As such, I couldn't have been happier with Epic's reveal of
Fortnite. The cartoony visuals aren't all that appealing to me, but the
Minecraft-inspired focus on building custom structures? With friends? On a
console? Yes, please! The indication that you'll be fending off zombie attacks
in your newly created base is also intriguing, especially considering Epic
pretty much wrote the book on Horde mode. All of these elements are instantly more
exciting to me than a potential Gears of War 4.
I'm sure Gears of War will be reincarnated in some form or
another in the future, but I feel like sci-fi shooters have done all the
innovating they're going to at this point, which makes me think 2012 would be a
good year for Epic to focus on something else.
Any Movie-themed Lego TitleI don't bring this up to hate on the Lego games like
everyone else. As far as family-friendly co-op games go, the Lego series is
great fun. Lego isn't the problem – it's the movie license half of the equation
that I'm sick to death of.
What I really want to see Traveller's Tales do is create a
game in the spirit of Lego, one that allows players to use building blocks to,
you know, build stuff. Minecraft has proven how incredibly popular
creation-focused sandbox games are with players, and Lego has been doing it
since before video games even existed. Putting the focus on creative building
instead of pantomiming popular movies will stop much of the eye-rolling
commonly associated with the series.
This is one entry on the list that I already know is doomed.
Traveller's Tales has announced it's working on another Batman title, as well
as a new Lord of the Rings series – looks like we'll have plenty of Lego Gollum
in our future. To its credit, the developer is also working on Lego City
Stories, a more open-world title for the 3DS and Wii U, but we'll have to wait and see if it satisfies the urge to build stuff out of everyone's favorite plastic blocks.
Email the author Jeff Marchiafava, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.